The Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros each find themselves in offensive ruts.
The Astros' woes might be more likely to continue given Aaron Harang's recent track record against them.
Harang tries to bounce back from an awful outing and win his seventh straight start over the Astros in Tuesday night's series opener in Houston.
The Braves (38-37) totaled one run and nine hits while dropping the last two in a four-game set in Washington, leaving them 1 1/2 games back of the first-place Nationals. They had tallied 23 hits while taking the first two meetings and were 8 for 27 with runners in scoring position, then went 1 for 12 in those situations Saturday and Sunday.
"If we would've lost the first two games and won the last two games you'd be feeling pretty good about yourselves," manager Fredi Gonzalez said after Sunday's 4-1 loss. "It didn't happen that way, it happened the other way, so you're not feeling real good about yourself."
Chris Johnson and Justin Upton were both ejected Sunday following separate instances of arguing with an umpire. Johnson is batting .397 over his last 14 games and has hit safely in his last eight, but Upton is batting just .121 in his last eight contests and has hit one of his 14 homers in his last 22.
Houston (33-44) lost for the sixth time in seven games with Sunday's 5-2 defeat at Tampa Bay. Dexter Fowler homered on the first pitch but the Astros finished with 13 strikeouts, marking the seventh time in nine games they've whiffed at least 11 times. Chris Carter, Jason Castro, George Springer and Jon Singleton have all struck out at least 11 times each in that span.
"(We're) just missing way too many hittable pitches," manager Bo Porter said. "It's not like we're not getting good pitches to hit. We're just not putting our best swings on 'em right now."
AL batting leader Jose Altuve continues to flourish, however, going 13 for 24 in his last six games. He's also batting .380 over his last 11 interleague contests.
Harang (5-6, 3.83 ERA) will try to keep the Astros' bats subdued after winning his last six starts against them while posting a 2.04 ERA. His most recent complete game came versus Houston when he yielded just two hits with 10 strikeouts in a 4-0 victory for Seattle on June 11, 2013.
However, Harang comes off a rocky outing, giving up nine runs and a season-worst 13 hits over five innings of a 10-5 loss to Philadelphia on Wednesday.
The right-hander, who had a 2.92 ERA in his previous four starts, has limited his two interleague opponents this year to three runs over 12 innings.
Houston will counter with Scott Feldman (3-4, 3.95), who is 0-2 with a 7.54 ERA in his last four home starts. He gave up two runs in five innings at Washington on Wednesday.
The right-hander permitted four runs over 4 2-3 innings in his last matchup with Atlanta, a 4-1 road loss with the Cubs on April 5, 2013.
Upton is 3 for 7 versus Feldman with a double and a homer, and is batting .414 (12 for 29) in his last seven games against Houston.
Fowler is just 2 for 15 off Harang with six strikeouts, while Altuve is hitless in four at-bats.
The Astros have dropped 10 of their last 13 interleague games and 15 of 19 against Atlanta.
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